When it comes to herbal medicine, many of us are familiar with the benefits of echinacea or purple rudbeckia as antibiotic, willow bark as painkiller and aloe vera as a topical anesthetic and treatment skin conditions. But all this is public knowledge when compared to the perception and treatment that Native American healers have discovered and used.
Native American healers have developed a wheel very similar to the yin / yang of Asian medicine. The use of medicinal plants and other alternative forms of treatment was advanced medicine in their time. It was a holistic approach to medical treatment that relied heavily on plants and their invaluable benefits.
The following is a list of local plants, trees, fruits and flowers from North America that have surprising beneficial properties as defined by Native American tribes. In difficult times, it may be of great service to keep some of these old remedies in mind. They are also invaluable for everyday needs when you consider how some of them can be effective.
The liquorice tea for a sore throat is a good example. It is also worth noting that many of these natural remedies are still in use today, including beeswax and bee pollen, chamomile and others. This is a good demonstration of the benefit of wisdom developed over the centuries.
It is difficult to know how Native Americans determined which plants might have therapeutic properties, and the trial and error method was probably one of the approaches. It is also thought that they observed sick animals that ate certain plants and determined that these plants should have certain properties that deserved to be explored. In any case, they had a meaning that we must have lost since the ethnobotanists are getting closer to them to know their secrets. Since then, scientific studies have verified the medicinal value of many plants. In fact, common aspirin is derived from salicin, a chemical in the inner face of willows that has been used in ancient times for fever and pain.
These remedies were usually given in infusions (teas) or mixtures that were either ingested or applied to the skin. Sometimes the plants were eaten as food or added to food or water. On occasion, an ointment or poultice was applied to open wounds. I strongly recommend that you avoid this last method, given the risk of infection from wild sources. However, cayenne pepper on an open wound does wonders, and honey on a burn also.
So I tried to group the most common plants used by Native Americans or other peoples that you can find and recognize. As always, if you are pregnant, consult your doctor and make sure there is no doubt about the identification of the plant.
30 Remedies of Amerindians and others forgotten for too long:
1. Alfalfa or Alfalfa : Relieves digestion and is used to facilitate blood clotting. It is currently used for the treatment of arthritis, bladder and kidney problems and bone density. Strengthens the immune system.
2. Aloe vera : A plant that looks like a cactus. Thick leaves can be pressed to extract a thick sap that can be used to treat burns, insect bites and wounds.
3. Aspen : The inner bark or xylem is used in herbal tea to treat fever, cough and pain. it contains salicin, which is also found in willows and is the basic ingredient of aspirin.
4. Bee Pollen : When mixed with food, it can stimulate energy, digestion and strengthen the immune system. If you are allergic to bee stings, you may also be allergic to bee pollen.
5. Beeswax : Used as a balm for burns and insect bites, including bee stings. Intended to be used only externally.
6. Ripe : The root, bark and leaves, when crushed and infused in an herbal tea, are used to treat diarrhea, reduce inflammation and stimulate metabolism. In gargle, they treat sore throat, mouth ulcers and inflammation of the gums.
7. Black raspberries : The roots of this plant are crushed and used in decoction or boiled and chewed to relieve cough, diarrhea and intestinal disorders in general.
8. Buckwheat : The seeds are used in soups or pureed to lower blood pressure. Helps blood clotting and relieves diarrhea.
9. Cayenne pepper : The pods are used as an analgesic, mixed with a dish or a drink. It is also used to treat arthritis and digestive distress. It is sometimes applied to wounds in powder form to increase blood flow and act as an antiseptic and anesthetic to alleviate or eliminate pain.
10. Chamomile : The leaves and flowers are used in herbal tea to treat intestinal problems and nausea.
11. Cherry Blossom : Considered by Native American tribes as an all-purpose medical treatment, berries were pitted, dried and crushed or prepared as a poultice to treat a variety of ailments. These include coughs, colds, flu, nausea, inflammation and diarrhea. In balm or poultice, it is used to treat burns and wounds. The cherry tree nuclei, very similar to apple seeds, are toxic at high concentrations. Be sure to pit the cherries if you use them.
12. Echinacea : It is a primordial plant in traditional American Indian treatments. It is used to strengthen the immune system, fight infections and fever. It is also used as an antiseptic and general treatment for colds, coughs and flu.
13. Aboriginal Origin: Eucalyptus : The oil extracted from the leaves and roots is a common treatment taken as an infusion to treat coughs, sore throats, flu, fever.
14. Fennel : A plant that has a liquorice taste. Fennel is used as an infusion or chew to relieve coughs, sore throats, help with digestion, provide relief from diarrhea and is a general treatment for colds. It is also used as a poultice to relieve eye pain and headaches.
15. Feverfew : Still used today to naturally relieve fever and headaches, including severe headaches, such as migraines, it can also be used for digestive problems, asthma and muscle aches and articular.
16. Eupatoire : Another remedy for fever, which is also used for general pain, itching and joint stiffness. It can be ingested as an infusion or chewed, or crushed into a paste to make a balm or poultice.
17 . Ginger Root : Another important plant in Native American medicine, the root was crushed and eaten with meals, or herbal tea, ointment or poultice. Known to date for its ability to promote digestive health, it is also anti-inflammatory, promotes blood circulation and can relieve coughs and colds, flu, in addition to bronchitis and joint pain.
18. Ginseng : Ginseng is another contemporary plant whose history goes back thousands of years after crossing different cultures. The roots were used by Native Americans as a dietary supplement, herbal tea, and poultice to treat fatigue, stimulate energy, improve the immune system and generally promote the functions of the liver and lungs. The leaves and stems were also used, but the root is the most concentrated in active compounds.
19. Goldenrod : Generally considered a source of allergy and sneezing, Goldenrod was actually considered a panacea by Native Americans. In infusion, adding it to food as an ointment, it is used to treat conditions ranging from bronchitis and lung problems to colds, flu, inflammation, sore throat and as an antiseptic for cuts and scrapes . It is easily found in nature during walks or even on the roadside.
20. Honeysuckle : Berries, stems, flowers and leaves are used to locally treat bee stings and skin infections. In herbal tea, it is used to treat colds, headaches and sore throats. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
21. Amerindian Remedies with Hops : In infusion, it is used to treat digestive problems and is often mixed with other plants such as aloe vera for muscle problems. It is also used to relieve toothache and sore throat.
22. Licorice : Roots and leaves can be used for coughs, colds, sore throats. The root can also be chewed to relieve toothache.
23. Molène : In infusion or added to salad or other foods. This plant has been used by Native Americans to treat inflammation, coughs and congestion as well as lung diseases in general. It is a fairly common plant and you probably have it growing in or near your garden.
24. Passionflower : The leaves and roots are used to make an infusion to treat anxiety and muscle pain. A poultice for skin lesions such as burns, insect bites and boils can also be prepared from passionflower.
25. Red clover : It grows everywhere and the flowers, leaves and roots are usually used in an herbal tea. The flowers can be placed to decorate a salad or other dish. It can treat inflammation, improve circulation and treat respiratory conditions.
26. Rose Hips : This is the orange-red ball that is the fruit of the wild rose. It is a massive source of vitamin C and when eaten whole, ground in herbal tea or added to food, it is used to treat colds and coughs, intestinal distress, as an antiseptic and to treat inflammation .
27. Rosemary : From the pine family and used in food and infusion to treat muscle pain, improve circulation and as a general cleanser of metabolism.
28. Sage : A plant widely distributed throughout North America, it is a natural insect repellent and can be used as a standard treatment for digestive disorders, colds and sore throats.
29. Mint : Used routinely by Native American tribes for the treatment of coughs, colds, respiratory distress and as a remedy for diarrhea and a stimulant for blood circulation.
30. Valerian : The root as an infusion relieves muscle pain and is known for its calming effect.
If you are an expert in aboriginal remedies, Amerindians, I am sure you can add a large number of plants to this list. There are excellent books on natural remedies and specific medicinal properties that Native Americans have discovered. Natural remedies are to be considered from both a historical and potentially practical point of view. Make sure you identify them correctly and check with your therapist before using them.